Sunderland Split Festival organisers work on side projects

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Split Festival may be having a fallow year in 2013 but the festival organisers are keeping themselves busy with various side projects.

After a series of shows at Sunderland Minster featuring Frankie & The Heartstrings and Little Comets, Split are now working with music students and have put together a band to take on a week-long tour of the Scottish Highlands next month.

Martyn McFadden from Split explained: “I’ve been going up to the Highlands tour managing bands for over a decade now and have got to know the venues up there well and with their support, we thought it would be a good project to work with music students on, so we set up auditions and put together a band for the tour.”

The line up of the band, which has been named Too Far North, is Alex Hex (guitar) from Berwick, Dave Norris (guitar) from Harrogate, Corine Andrews (vocals) Sunderland, Zack Pygall (bass) from Durham and Joe McFadden (drums) from Sunderland.

Alex Hex who studies at Newcastle College and is playing guitar in the band, said: “It’s a great opportunity to work with Split and also get the chance to go on a professionally tour organised tour.

“I can’t wait to go.”

Corine Andrews, who is lead singer and who studies music at Sunderland College, is also raring to go: “I volunteered at Split Festival last year, so I’ve worked alongside the team before, so when I heard about this tour I was delighted to be given the chance to front the band and travel as a touring musician.”

Barry Hyde from The Futureheads and Split, who helped select the musicians for the tour, said: “They’ve now been rehearsing for a month, or so and we’re really impressed with the quality of the musicians. I was hard to choose the initial band because the standard was very high and I think the fact that we’ve drawn talent from as far south as Yorkshire and as far north as the Scottish Borders says a lot.”